|Lady Plainsmen earn fifth consecutive SPVA title|
By Pastor Vince Carrig
Balanced scoring and rebounding from their starters took a fifth-consecutive SPVA title for the Lady Plainsmen at McDonald-Belton gymnasium in North Platte Saturday afternoon.
Senior Jenni Sis led Perkins County in points (11), with two fourth quarter free throws and a put-back sewing up a 48-37 win over the 10-4 North Platte St. Patrick’s Lady Irish.
Perkins County turned a close game after three quarters (30-27) into a convincing win with an 18-10 final quarter.
“The players and coaches have talked about their fourth quarter performance more and more. The players have done a great job of handling everything better in the fourth quarter over the last four to five games,” Head Coach Chris Mestl said after the game.
Mackenzie Hite stepped up with a spin move into an eight-foot jumper and smothering defense at the point to break a 27-27 tie and begin a 9-0 Lady Plainsmen run. Hite also reached double-digit points.
Brooke Poppe showed the hot shooting hand for the hot (six wins in a row) Lady Plainsmen, bombing in two three-pointers. Poppe (nine points) scored five first quarter points in a row and extended Perkins County’s lead to 33-27 with a long-distance connection and totaled eight points.
Perkins County finished strong with 18 points in the fourth quarter. Tanya Metcalf, the tallest of them, floated in two consecutive baskets for them in that frame by getting open both out of a defensive press and in their offensive set. That last shot from five feet away kept the champions ahead by 10 at 42-32.
Senior Leslie Burge made an awesome pass to free Metcalf from the press, and also took a nifty pass from her before weathering a teeth-rattling hit to score and set up a three-point play.
Lady Irish guard Shelby Pieper lifted St. Pat’s into that 27-27 tie with a three-pointer, finishing a seven-point swing in favor of the team wearing green.
St. Pat’s Head Coach Nathan Stienike hollered for a stoppage in play after Perkins County quickly ran up a 7-1 lead. The Lady Plainsmen held that same margin at halftime (22-16); it took a Pieper put-back and a drive by Candice Shelton that ended in a dish to Ashton Hernandez for easy money to even the score at 27-27.
But even North Platte leading scorer Megan Mayfield’s three-point play could not stem the Perkins County tide that next scored 13 points to the Lady Irish’s three.
Mayfield (10 points) stuck a jumper from 12 feet away with a defender in her face.
NPSP 7 9 11 10—37
Perkins Co. 13 9 8 18—48
Perkins County vs. Hershey
Tanya Metcalf moved to open spaces for baskets and the Lady Plainsmen took advantage of free throw opportunities to advance past Hershey with a 46-40 win Thursday night’s semifinal game of the SPVA tournament in North Platte.
Metcalf led all scorers with 14 points and her exploits included a lane-to-block move and a sprint down the left lane line for open scores.
Perkins County reaped almost half of its points from charity tosses, with three of its girls hitting every penalty shot they took and another planting eight of 12.
Seven players hit the score sheet for the team in red, while Hershey’s output concentrated among just three shooters.
“Balanced scoring on our team has helped us become a better team this season. Not only do we have balance with various girls scoring but we also are getting some balance between inside and outside which is very important,” Head Coach Chris Mestl said after the game.
A late first quarter surge from the Lady Plainsmen created the mold into which the teams cast the game’s results.
Mackenzie Hite combined with Metcalf, first striking from inside the arc and then whipping a pass to the open forward right underneath the basket. Metcalf then drew a foul and buried both free throws, and out popped a 13-6 Perkins County lead.
The Lady Panthers clawed back, but seven first half free throw makes from Jessi Day’s driving and rebounding helped grow Perkins County’s lead to 10 at halftime (27-17).
Hershey never cut deeper into the Lady Plainsmen’s lead than six points, although forward Daynlee Miller’s left-handed, driving scoop layup showed that the Lady Panthers certainly possessed the capability to draw even.
Miller added a three-pointer to post 12 for the Lady Panthers, and solid forward Dana Elsasser trailed right behind with 11 points.
Elsasser went hard to the hole in the fourth quarter, taking dividends for her efforts in the form of three free throws. She unfortunately double-dribbled underneath an unguarded basket before an attempt that could have turned the game into a one-possession tilt with 30 seconds left.
Jenni Sis scored eight points, with six coming from free throws she made. Sis stowed away two of those free throws with 3:17 after recovering from a hard foul, ensuring that the Lady Plainsmen advanced to the championship game against North Platte St. Pat’s.
Metcalf snuffed Miller from behind on a breakaway layup attempt, and freshman forward Matisyn Humphrey recorded a field goal and two free throws in the game’s closing moments to help avenge Perkins County’s 46-36, December 5 loss in Hershey.
Perkins County 13 14 10 9—46
Hershey 6 11 14 9—40
SPVA First Round
Perkins County vs. Chase County
The Lady Plainsmen stampeded to a 10-0 start and never looked back to take a 49-32 win over Chase County and advance to the SPVA tourney semifinal Monday night (Jan. 8) in North Platte.
Jenni Sis drove the trailer early and Tanya Metcalf steered late and both scored 12 points to lead Perkins County.
After moving into a space open enough to build a shopping mall, Sis knocked down her second layup of the first quarter off an inbound pass. Sis exploded for 10 first quarter points and added a rainmaker from the free throw circle in the third.
Metcalf played give-and-go on the lane line and poked in a lob for six fourth quarter points.
The Lady Plainsmen branded the scoreboard with the game’s first and last 10 points.
In between, the Lady Longhorns changed the mood of the game from stroll on the range to slaughter and butcher, roping back into the game at 22-20.
Forwards Jilanne German and Lexee Reichert scored 12 points apiece for the Lady Longhorns. Reichert bumped in a pass from the point and German went hard to the rack, and with 6:38 left in the third quarter, Chase County had shriveled Perkins County’s lead to two points.
The Lady Plainsmen threw on the front court press, and suddenly Brooke Poppe found herself wide-open for a layup and Matisyn Humphrey had the ball right underneath the basket.
A 9-0 third quarter run herded Perkins County to a 31-20 lead and room to roam with 10:00 remaining.
vs. Chase County
Perkins Co. 14 6 14 15—49
Chase Co. 6 9 12 5—32
The 9-6 Lady Plainsmen look to meet 9-7 Maxwell and 8-2 Sedgwick County on Friday and Saturday, with both games on the road.